"You are always interested to hear about good young English players no matter where they are playing," Ferdinand said at a sponsoredbyyou.com event organised by England sponsors Nationwide Building Society.
"You like to cast your eye over them and have a little look and see how they are doing.
"It's encouraging for England. It looks like they have some real talented players down at Arsenal and we've got some coming through at United as well.
"The manager at United doesn't like us talking too much about the young players and putting pressure on them but I feel someone like Danny Welbeck has got a real chance of becoming a top player.
"He's at a club where it's difficult to get into the team, especially in his position because we've got some quality players there.
"But he is someone who does things in training sessions that make you think he's got something most people haven't. So the future should be good for England."